Statement by Commissioner Lenarčič on the killing of Danish Refugee Council and International Rescue Committee aid workers in Tigray, Ethiopia

Met dank overgenomen van Directoraat-Generaal Europese Civiele Bescherming en Humanitaire Operaties (ECHO) i, gepubliceerd op vrijdag 11 december 2020.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič i, issued the following statement:

“I strongly condemn the killing of four humanitarian workers in a refugee camp in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, including three staff members from the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and one from International Rescue Committee (IRC). My deepest condolences go to their loved ones and to all the staff of the Danish Refugee Council and the International Rescue Committee at these difficult times.

I pay tribute to these humanitarian workers who have been saving lives and helping those less fortunate in times of crisis. We salute their courage and passion.

As I outlined in my recent visit to Ethiopia last week, the Ethiopian authorities should ensure immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access for humanitarian workers to all areas affected by fighting in accordance with International Humanitarian Law.

Now, more than ever, it is a matter of urgency to cease all hostilities.”


On 2-4 December, Commissioner Lenarčič, visited the border areas in Sudan and the capital Khartoum and re-emphasised EU humanitarian support as well as underlined the EU's continued commitment to supporting Sudan's political transition.

He also stopped in Addis and met with Ethiopian authorities, calling for protection of humanitarian aid workers, civilians and immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access for humanitarian workers.

The latest €4 million in humanitarian support for Ethiopian refugees fleeing the Tigray conflict brings the total EU humanitarian aid for Sudan to €65.5 million in 2020.